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In working with hundreds of executive coaching clients over the past 18 years, I've definitely noted ONE HABIT that stands out more than any other as a truly LIFE-TRANSFORMING habit. Clients who have adopted this habit feel its effects in ALL areas of their life -- work life, family life, personal life, spiritual life, etc. The habit of DAILY EXERCISE is the KEYSTONE HABIT I am referring to. It's earned the distinction of a KEYSTONE habit because it initiates, supports and sustains so many OTHER GREAT HABITS. The impact of a daily exercise habit is, without question, transformational. Consider the follow list of 25 Life-Changing Benefits of Daily Exercise -- clear evidence of its designation is a KEYSTONE habit: 1. You lose weight, reduce your body fat percentage, improve your flexibility and muscle tone, and you look better. 2. You do a much better job of setting your boundaries; you're much more AWARE of those boundaries... more than ever before. 3. You develop the habit of protecting your time for other things important to you -- time with your spouse, time with your kids, time with your friends, vacation time, weekend time, etc. 4. Your overall energy level improves. 5. Your metabolism changes for the better; your body naturally burns more calories. 6. Your diet improves, which also positively improves your energy level and overall health. 7. You set a great example for others to follow - family, friends and work associates. 8. You feel better and are generally more productive. 9. You tend to get sick less often, missing fewer days of work. You also recover quicker when you do get sick. 10. The habit of exercise re-frames and shifts your paradigm on time management and prioritization -- in all areas of your life. 11. You get MORE DONE in LESS TIME with SPARE ENERGY available. 12. Most people end up smoking less (or quitting altogether) - a change in habit that translates into hanging around with fewer smokers and more nonsmokers. 13. Most people consume less alcohol. 14. Most people sleep sounder and end up more fully rested when they wake up in the morning. 15. Most people end up watching less television. 16. Reading habits tend to change for the better -- you begin a more generalized focus on improving yourself and looking for books that help support that process. 17. Most people get more involved in outside activities ancillary to their workout routines:

  • They walk more.
  • They ride their bikes more.
  • They canoe, kayak, skate, swim, hike.
18. You become much more conscious of "in the moment" health and fitness thoughts and decisions:
  • You take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • You eat the apple instead of the cookie.
  • You drink more water.
  • You forgo the fast food restaurant option more.
19. Stress levels are reduced and you feel more "in control" of your life. 20. Your sense of optimism and positivity improves; you tend to be "happier" in general. 21. Your confidence in setting and achieving goals increases -- in part because you've demonstrated to yourself that you can set and achieve (and many times exceed) fitness, weight and workout goals. 22. The people in your life -- your circle of friends in particular -- change; you're surrounded with more like-minded health and fitness-oriented friends and colleagues. 23. Your level of self-confidence increases, which readily translates into other areas of your life; you feel better about yourself overall. 24. Many people tend to "eat in" more, which for most, is a money-saving experience. 25. You're less prone to injuries and strains -- which translates into more available time to do the things important to you -- at work, at home and in your personal life.

Your Turn

What other benefits and ancillary habits have you experienced by adopting the DAILY EXERCISE habit? Daily exercise image from Shutterstock
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